November 21 Circles of Sexuality: A Four-Part Webinar Series-Online
November 28 Satsang: Singing into Silence-Online
December 1 Give the Gift of Hope #GivingTuesdayCA
December 6 Free Online Advent Service
January 10 Climate Change Colloquy Series (Phase 2)-Online
February 6 Canada West Mission E-Conference
View full Canada West Events Calendar
Dates are subject to change. Please register early to avoid cancellation of your event on Reggie.
BC Community of Christ Online Gathering
Hosted by the Vancouver Congregation
9:30am Pacific Time - Visiting and gathering
10am Pacific Time - Service
Contact Chris Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom links.
Hosted by the Toronto Congregation and Beyond the Walls Community
Sundays at 12pm (EDT), 11am (CDT), 10am (MDT), 9am (PDT). For more information please visit their website, Facebook page and YouTube channel to watch the service.
Creating Connection Book Club
Join us on our next session on December 14!
Third Monday of every month at 7PM (BC), 8PM (AB-SK), 9PM (MB). To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group. For more details click here.
Virtual Visiting Fellowship
Tuesday mornings at 11am CDT (Manitoba), 10am MDT (Alberta and Saskatchewan), 9am PDT (BC). Please send an email to email@example.com to participate. For more details click here.
Creating Connection presents: An Afternoon of Nurturing Spirit
Wednesdays from 3pm to 4:30pm Pacific Time. To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group.
Creating Connection presents: Coffee and Conversation
Thursdays from 10:30am to noon Pacific Time. To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group.
Virtual Visiting Fellowship
Thursday evenings at 9pm CDT (Manitoba), 8pm MDT (Alberta and Saskatchewan), 7pm PDT (BC). Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to participate. For more details click here.
For a list of Online Ministries please click here.
Black Lives Matter
Indigenous Lives Matter
Lives of People of Colour Matter
This is the 10th in a continuing series on the “We Share…” theme. For background, see the first entry in the series here: We Share #1
Today, “We Share…Sacraments.”
The sacraments of the church are shared or celebrated at times of the intersection of our human experience with God’s concern for our well-being. “Sacraments bring God’s grace, the influence of the Holy Spirit, and the example of the life of Jesus Christ together with one’s personal commitment of faith. Through the sacraments, we discover the presence of God everywhere and realize that all life is sacred.” (Sharing in Community of Christ, p. 44)
Community of Christ has eight sacraments which touch people at different times in their lives.
Baptism is celebrated when a person makes a decision to recognize the initiative of God in the person’s life. It is the culmination of a person’s choice to “follow Jesus Christ with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. … In baptism, we are immersed in water to symbolize death to sin and raised from the water to begin a new life.” (Sharing …, p. 44)
Confirmation is a prayer of blessing that, first, “affirms the Holy Spirit’s continued blessing for each disciple,” and, also, “’confirms’ membership in Community of Christ.” (Sharing …, p. 45) Two elders of the church lay their hands on the head of the person being confirmed and one of them offers the prayer. Confirmation usually follows shortly after a person’s baptism. However, if a person has been baptized in another Christian faith tradition (other than as an infant) that baptism can be recognized, and the person can be confirmed as a member of Community of Christ.
The Lord’s Supper (Communion) recalls the example set by Jesus in sharing in partaking in bread and wine for his disciples to remember him. “Do this in remembrance of me,” Jesus told his disciples (Luke 22:19 NRSV). Communion is normally celebrated by congregations in their worship service on the first Sunday of each month. It is also often shared at other special occasions of gatherings of church members. Partaking of the “emblems” (bread and non-alcoholic grape juice) is open to all persons attending the service who have made a commitment to Jesus, even if in a different denomination.
Ordination “recognizes the divine initiative to call certain disciples to particular priesthood responsibilities and ministries for the sake of the community, the congregation, and the world.” (Sharing …, p. 47) Ordination is normally conducted in a public worship service by two current priesthood members who lay their hands on the head of the person being ordained. One of the priesthood members offers the prayer of ordination to the priesthood “office” to which the person has been called.
Blessing of Children is offered in commemoration of two events in Jesus’ life. First, when Mary and Joseph took him, as a young child, to the Temple “to present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:21-35) and when during his ministry parents brought their children to him to be blessed (Mark. 10:14). Today parents may choose to bring their infant children, or children up to the age of 7, to be blessed in a public worship service. Typically, one minister holds the child and the other offers the prayer of blessing. For a child older than an infant, the child will sit in a chair and the ministers will lay their hands on the child’s head and one will offer the prayer.
Laying on of Hands for the Sick involves two significant symbols of God’s presence: consecrated olive oil and the laying on of hands. When a person has a specific need – usually a physical illness or injury, or sometimes a challenge of a spiritual or mental health nature – the person may call the elders for a “prayer of administration” as it is often called. One minister will anoint the person’s head with a drop of consecrated olive oil, a physical representation of the Holy Spirit, and then both ministers lay their hands on the person’s head as one offers the prayer. This sacrament is normally conducted in private – sometimes in the Pastor’s Study of a church, or in a person’s home, or in a hospital room.
Marriage. “Christian marriage is a sacred covenant between two people for lifelong, healthy, loving companionship. Marriage is also a legal agreement. The sacrament of marriage highlights God’s desire to strengthen and enrich the marriage.” (Sharing …, p. 49) “Community of Christ priests and elders may perform this sacrament, regardless of the couple’s membership in Community of Christ, as long as local laws governing marriage are followed.” (Sharing …, p. 50)
Evangelist Blessing is a sacramental prayer that “expresses the universal love of God for the recipient(s) and brings assurance, clarifies choices, and provides light for a lifetime of faithful discipleship in response to God.” (Sharing …, p. 50) This sacrament is typically requested by an individual, but might also be requested by a couple, a family, or even an entire congregation. The Evangelist who will offer the prayer will spend some significant time in preparation with the individual (or group) to ensure there is a good understanding of the needs to be addressed by the prayer. It is possible for a person to have more than one Evangelist Blessing as a person’s life circumstances and needs change and evolve.
These descriptions of the sacraments of Community of Christ are very brief due to the constraints of space in this format. Much more could be presented about each one. If you have an interest in any one or more of the sacraments of the church, please contact the writer or a congregation near you. Material for this column is drawn primarily from the book, available online, Sharing in Community of Christ: Exploring Identity, Mission, Message, and Beliefs.
I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
Have you checked out Canada West Mission Centre’s “Virtual Visiting Fellowship”?
This is a “program” that has truly become a “community;” actually, two communities! Participants have become real friends in these online communities that include people from across the mission centre and beyond.
Two sessions are offered each week. At least one of them will surely fit into your schedule:
Our Mission Centre President, Steve Thompson, plans and facilitates these sessions. We share in some introductions and opening comments to set up our time together. Then we engage in a general discussion with reference to topics that have included current events, articles in various periodicals, as well as hymns or scriptures. We conclude with a prayer for peace, for each other, and for others who need our support. Each session lasts about an hour. This has proven to be an upbeat, positive opportunity to help make up for not being able to visit “live and in person” with our congregation on Sundays.
How to participate:
Mark one (or both) of these virtual gatherings on your calendar and plan to attend. We look forward to your participation!
This is one of our VVF groups.
In accordance with Harmony's mission to provide advocacy, education, and resources for Queer voices in Community of Christ, we offer this four-part series with Sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt.
The purpose of this series is to provide our members and the public with meaningful and science-based information concerning human sexuality and gender identity as well as insight into common areas of struggle for the Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ Community such as shame, intimacy, power and agency, pleasure, and more. This series is meant to provide individuals with accurate and thought-provoking information that has the power to improve lives.
Utilizing the Experiential Learning Model of sexual health education, this workshop facilitates self-reflection and provides participants with a framework for understanding sexuality as a broad and interconnected topic that impacts nearly every aspect of being human. Through the collaborative development of the 7 Circles of Sexuality Wall, a bevy of topic ideas for future events will also be generated.
Meet Dr. Jill
Dr. Jill McDevitt is a sexologist, sexuality educator, sexual wellness coach, and feel-good activist. Dr. Jill's mission is to radically change and improve the way we think about and treat sexuality, ourselves, and each other. Learn more at: https://www.thesexologist.org/
Should you have any questions, please contact Harmony at email@example.com
When: The fourth Saturday of each month except December.
Our next session is on Saturday November 28 6:30 p.m. BC/ 7:30 p.m. AB /8:30 p.m. MB-SK
Doug and Vickie MacArthur will share simple songs and chants from various spiritual traditions you can sing in your own space, from the silence of “Om” to a joyful “Alleluia”. Clap your hands with lively rhythms and the beat of a drum, and let soulful melodies guide you into the silence that connects our hearts as one united voice. Together we will create a vibration of peace to fill the world.
We welcome all voices, all cultures and all traditions.
Giving Tuesday is a worldwide effort to support causes, programs, and organizations we love, and it’s taking place on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
Double the Good.
This year a generous matching contribution of $200,000 has been pledged for this event. For example, a $25 contribution will be matched and becomes $50. Any donation to Worldwide Mission Tithes helps bring hope to people around the world!
In 2020, contributions have supported:
How to Participate:
1. No Fee Options (Community of Christ receives 100% of your gift)
2. Other Options (Community of Christ receives most of your gift but incurs a small fee to process the payment)
NOTE: If donating by cheque or e-transfer, email Heather Huffman or call 888-411-7537, ext. 23 at Community of Christ Canada Headquarters to ensure your gift is included in Giving Tuesday totals.
Remember to get the word out.
Tell everyone about Giving Tuesday and consider sharing this information with your fellow congregants, friends, and loved ones. Word of mouth is still incredibly effective!
Stay up to date.
Updates will be posted on World Church Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts throughout the day on December 1st.
Thank you, in advance, for your generosity and support!
Your contributions directly fund the mission of Community of Christ.
Join us on December 6 for a free online Advent service with special music, including participation from many locations. Among others participating, Grammy-nominated Organist-in-Residence Jan Kraybill will perform:
This message of the holiday season will air at 4:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on Facebook and YouTube.
These Zoom gatherings are made possible by Worldwide Mission Tithes. Your contributions are welcome online or by mail to the Presiding Bishopric, 1001 W. Walnut St., Independence, Missouri, USA.
Enrollment Information for eLearning Classes
Our "Blue Session" of classes will open for Canadian enrollment December 7-January 8.
The following credit classes are:
Class cost is $7.50 and should be paid before class via eTransfer to: Sam Smalldon firstname.lastname@example.org
To enroll, go to developmetrics.org and click on the "Canadian Registration Form" when registration opens on December 7.
Should you have any questions, please contact David Lloyd.
Come join us for a monthly “get together” for casual discussion of books from a wide range of genres. Open to all book lovers (some books may not be suitable for younger readers).
When: Third Monday of every month at 7 PM (BC), 8PM (AB-SK), 9PM (MB).
Our next meetup is on December 14.
Book: Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox.
This book is about his life, living with Parkinson's Disease and about his foundation's research.
At the turn from our bedroom into the hallway, there is an old full-length mirror in a wooden frame. I can't help but catch a glimpse of myself as I pass. Turning fully toward the glass, I consider what I see. This reflected version of myself, wet, shaking, rumpled, pinched, and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face. I would ask the obvious question, "What are you smiling about?" but I already know the answer: "It just gets better from here."
This book was originally released in 2009, so it should be easy to find at most libraries, and definitely at book stores, as they will be gearing up for the release of his latest book.
Meet our host
Kelly Duff has loved reading from an early age. In recent years, she has especially loved the opportunities she's had to read stories by brand new authors through her volunteer work with Filidh Publishing; where she assists with preliminary edits of new manuscripts, as well as helps with planning/running book launches and open mic events. She enjoys reading books from many genres, and she looks forward to exploring the worlds of fiction and non-fiction with other avid readers!
Once registered, you will receive a Zoom link a few days before each session of the series. All sessions are free and previous participation is not needed to join.
For more information about the series please visit the Climate Change Colloquy website.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reduce opportunities for the church to provide in-person pastoral-care ministries and to gather physically for fellowship, worship, and community formation. After extended consideration, the Presidency is providing principles and guidelines for offering the sacraments through online means during the pandemic. These principles and guidelines may be refined in the future as the church lives into its experiences with online ministries.
It is our hope that providing for the sacraments to be shared through online experiences will continue the pastoral-care ministries the church is called to extend into human life, even during this time of physical distancing. It also will provide the church learnings for how to share the sacraments in a world that is becoming more borderless through online connections. May blessings abound as you offer these gifts.
In his most recent video, President Steve Veazey shares some important updates and words of encouragement with the church. As you prepare to hear his message, consider these additional resources:
President Veazey's video has subtitles in French and Spanish.
This occasional feature is intended to ensure that people across the mission centre are aware of the passing of persons in other congregations in a timely manner.
Information provided here is restricted to the name of the deceased person, the city where they lived (or congregation they attended), and the date of death (if it is provided). If an online version of a detailed obituary is available, the name of the person will be underlined indicating that it is a link to that source of information.
As we were preparing for our annual “We Remember” presentation for the Mission Conference Online this year, we realized that we were missing persons who have passed away between September and December 2019. In a “catch-up” entry, we highlight the following persons who have died in the time since our last Mission Conference.
If you are aware of other church members who have passed away and whose names do not appear here in our archive, please advise email@example.com.
Please support in thought and prayer the family and friends of the following persons who passed away late last year:
For a list of persons who have passed away earlier this year, please click here.
Jan Kraybill, Community of Christ organist-in-residence, often enjoys hearing and answering her audience’s questions, especially if she’s playing a demonstration concert at the Temple or Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, USA. But because the world is dealing with a pandemic, her next performances are for online audiences.
During free internet premiers at 7:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time on both September 13 at the Temple organ and at the Auditorium organ on September 14, Jan Kraybill took video viewers behind the scenes, inside these massive instruments, to view aspects never seen by live audiences. The videos were recorded in Independence, MO.
Watch the Auditorium Pipe Organ Demonstration and the Temple Pipe Organ Demonstration videos in the Community of Christ YouTube channel. The videos will remain on the church’s YouTube channel for later viewing.
Black Lives Matter
Indigenous Lives Matter
Lives of People of Colour Matter
First, let me share this… I am writing late on Wednesday afternoon, the day after the U.S. election. It does not feel right not to mention this significant event. We may not know who has won this election until as late as Friday. It is in no way appropriate to express support for one politician or one party over another in a church ministry context. It is enough to note that there are strong feelings and emotions that have been generated in this election on both sides of the American electoral divide. I know that perspectives from both of those sides are shared and supported among members of Community of Christ in the Canada West Mission Centre. It is important that we pray for civil and peaceful actions in these days and that society avoids the potential for violence. I commend to you this Letter from the U.S.A. Team of Apostles, published last week. It is truly a prayer for this restraint written from the U.S. perspective. It is expressed far better than this concerned Canadian can. Let us pray for the well-being of all of our American brothers and sisters.
Now, back to today’s theme… This is the 9th in a continuing series on the “We Share…” theme. For background, see the first entry in the series here: We Share #1
Today, “We Share…Whole-life Stewardship.”
Stewardship is the response of my people to the ministry of my Son and is required alike of all those who seek to build the kingdom. (Book of Doctrine and Covenants 147:5a)
And, from the Gospels:
From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. (Luke 12:48 NRSV)
Stewardship is wisely managing the gifts and blessings of God in our lives and finding ways to give some of them back into God’s service. “Whole-life Stewardship” recognizes that gifts to us and gifts from us are in all areas of our lives, not just in our finances. “We serve through tithing of our time, talent, treasure, and testimony. We describe this as whole-life stewardship. Being good stewards of our lives is our ultimate calling as generous disciples.” (Sharing in Community of Christ, p. 39)
Six principles are defined as being a disciple’s generous response:
Practicing good stewardship takes intentionality and discipline. It is easy to use our blessings entirely for our own benefit. As a disciple we are called to resist that temptation and to use our blessings – of time, of talent, of testimony, and of treasure – to help further God’s purposes.
“You are invited to a journey of whole-life stewardship in response to God’s amazing generosity in your life as we seek to build communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.” (Sharing …, p. 43)
For more information about our Basic Beliefs, contact the writer or a congregation near you. Material for this column is drawn primarily from the book, available online, Sharing in Community of Christ: Exploring Identity, Mission, Message, and Beliefs.
I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
To all our members in BC,
It is the time of year that we usually gather for our Agape Society Annual General Meeting, and as with many events we are moving online thanks to provisions made in the Societies Act for these extraordinary times. Zoom connection details are below.
For those new to the Agape Society, every Community of Christ member in BC is automatically a voting member. Our mandate is to support at-risk youth and young adults in finding safe and supportive homes. We do that primarily through the Agape House in New Westminster, which the society owns. The current program in Agape House is run by CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) for young adults learning to live independently.
Our agenda for the AGM will be simple: update you on this year at Agape House, approve the budget for the coming year, and elect the board of directors.
We have some openings on the board this year and welcome any who are interested to reach out to board president Shannon McAdam (firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-328-0705) if you’d like to learn more. Thanks to video communication technology, you do not have to live in the lower mainland of BC to be a board member!
When: Sunday, November 1st at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Where: Online or by phone via Zoom, connection details below
We hope to see you!
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537